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Lib links left to Goebbels on free speech

AAP logoAAP 12/09/2016 Belinda Merhab

A Liberal backbencher has linked the left side of politics to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, arguing both were in favour of selective free-speech.

Linda Reynolds wants the words "offend" and "insult" removed from section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, backing a private bill to water down the laws despite the prime minister insisting the government is not interested in the change.

Describing how Goebbels and Stalin were in favour of free speech when it came to views they liked, Senator Reynolds told parliament on Monday many on the left were "ruthlessly intolerant" of those with opinions different to their own.

"Anyone who dares to question their own unshakable beliefs are dismissed as ignorant," she said.

"If you're really in favour of free speech then you're in favour of freedom of speech for precisely the views that you abhor, otherwise you are simply not in favour of free speech."

It would be a tragedy if Australian larrikinism or "taking the piss" was lost in the name of political correctness, she said.

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